Question: Dear Sir, my husband is a lay
leader in a popular church in the Bahamas. We have been married for more than
fifteen years and for the past five years he has become very abusive. He was
first emotionally abusive, then physically abusive after he was chosen to serve
in an outstanding church position. The church members do not believe that he is
abusive because he is so "nice" and popular. The members often make me
feel that I am the problem. Why do Christian men abuse their wives? Need help.
Answer: This is part II in response to this serious question. The
fundamental reason for spouse abuse stems from belief in male dominance or
gender hierarchy. It emerges out of the greed for power and control that began
in heaven with Lucifer. Lucifer was jealous of Godís power and wanted more
authority and recognition. What did he do? He began the first political campaign
ever and convinced one third of the angles to vote for him. But it did not work.
He was thrown out of heaven with his host of imps. This greed for power and
control is very, very, very contagious. Satan had to find more converts outside
of heaven. So he tried Eve and was successful. His strongest point of conviction
was the issue of power and control. He convinced Eve that God was really lying
when He said that they would die if they ate the fruit from the Tree of
Knowledge and Good and Evil. He also persuaded Eve that they would have MORE
POWER and that she and her husband would actually be like God, but God did not
want to tell her that. It worked! Yes it did!
FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME
This greed for power and control has revealed itself over the millenniums
first through gender hierarchy, then slavery, racism, communism,
totalitarianism, spouse abuse, incest, child abuse, murder, rape, etc. A basic
assumption of all these forms of abuse is that one group of individuals feels it
is superior to another group of individuals. Satan knew that if he could destroy
the egalitarian plan of God for the family, eventually all other forms of abuse
would follow. Thus, his campaign for supremacy would be successful. God himself
stated in Genesis 3:16 very clearly that gender hierarchy was a direct result of
sin with the words "and he (man) shall rule over you (woman)." This
idea was not Godís plan. It was Satanís strategy--a result of sin. "God
created man (human beings) in His image. In His image God, created He him (human
beings), male and female created He them." (Genesis 1:27). In addition, God
gave Adam and Eve--both of them--dominance over the animals not over each other
(Genesis 1:28). Clearly both Adam and Eve were created in the image of God.
Together they reflected Godís image. In essence, male dominance teaches that
males were created in the image of God and females were created in the image of
man. There are no Biblical texts or teachings that support the idea that Eve was
to be subordinated to Adam. Jesus told his disciples: "When you see me you
see the father . . . I and my father are one." This was to be the example
of male/female relationship.
When Jesus came to earth almost two thousand years ago, He met a world
infested with national prejudice, religious abuse, slavery, racism, and male
dominance. He showed by His own lifestyle how we should treat each other. He was
gentle, kind, nurturing, compassionate and loving. Jesus cried publicly at
Lazarus grave side. In Christís day and even today, these expressions are
considered emotionally weak and feminine and are not to be expressed by men.
Jesus lifted the level of women from that of unimportance and inferiority to
that of great prominence and equality.
One of the most effective ways that greed for power and control has reigned
supreme is through religious abuse. This was demonstrated through the dark ages
when emperors, kings and religious leaders slaughtered millions of
Christians---non-Protestants were superior to Protestants. Its ugly head was
again revealed during the holocaust, when millions of Jews were killed---Germans
were superior to Jews. In the past two years, we have seen it in Bosnian, Kosova,
and Rwanda---one tribe superior to another.
We have learned that religious abuse, a form of emotional/psychological
abuse, is a way many Christian Bahamian men abuse their partners. Religious
abuse occurs when someone makes you feel that it is your Christian duty to stay
in an abusive relationship. It is using texts out of context to perpetuate
domestic abuse, to encourage a partner to be submissive to an abusive mate. It
is also when a husband constantly reminds his wife about her "Christian
duty" to be submissive and to respect him as the head of the house, and
placing himself as "king of the castle."
Our Bahamian society is poisoned with the venomous sap of family abuse. How
could a "Christian nation" be so poisoned, so sinful, and wretched? In
reality, the churches have laid the foundation for such abusive behavior. The
church is powerful. It has preached submission to husbands "no matter
what." The church has taught that reconciliation is staying with an abusive
partner because "a gentle, Christlike, meek spirit will win him over."
It has taught that Christian forgiveness means returning to a threatening,
dangerous relationship. It has kept quiet in a world which resonates with cries
of abused women and children. It has denied, covered-up, and minimized the abuse
of church leaders, and other Christian men, thus demanding no accountability, no
change. Who has to change? It is always the woman. In reality this is not
ministry of reconciliation. Christian Psychologist, James Alsdurf says "The
church is called to bind up the bruises of women who have suffered not only form
the violence of their spouses, but also from the passive violence of a church
which has failed to recognize their situation and intervene on their
behalf." It is time to teach that true reconciliation and healing can occur
only after the spouse separates from an abusive partner, the police are called,
and he is held accountable for his behavior.
The prophet Ezekiel gives a timely message to pastors and church leaders
today. He gives a warning to those who have been appointed to "take care of
the flock" and who have failed in their responsibilities. Ezekiel does not
mince words: "You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or
bound up the injured . . . You have ruled harshly and brutally" (Ezekiel
34:4). "And, because of such harsh rule, because of the dismissal of the
plight and pain of the sheep, because of the complicity of the shepherds
(pastors) with evil, "I am against the shepherds (pastors) and will hold
them accountable for my flock, I will remove them from tending the flock."
If you are a pastor who would like learn more about he dynamics of abuse or
hurting person in need of help, or you have request for counseling, write to
P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas or Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org , or call 242 327 1980
Call for more information or
help: 1242-327-1980 or 1-305-767
4976 or email